Bahawalnagar-A protest demonstration was held as the centuries-old cemetery adjacent to the shrine of Taj Sarwar Chishti (RA), the grandson of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar (RA), was submerged with sewage.

As a result, several graves were inundated and disappeared. The people staged a protest demonstration over desecration of the graves and the apathy of the administration.

The cemetery is reportedly 800 years old and one of the largest cemetery of Pakistan as it spreads over 411 acres. In order to highlight its antiquity, the locals claimed that giant size shrines belonged to the periods of emperors Shamsuddin Altamsh and Ghayyasuddin Balban. Despite its historical and other significance, sewage of Chishtian Town has been released towards the cemetery for last seven days, and the graveyard is not only submerged but a good number of graves have also been badly affected due to the sewage.

The site is also littered with garbage. The gravity of the situation can be gauged that quarters concerned are completely indifferent to the pitiable condition of the graveyard. It has given rise to the apprehensions of the locals.

The people staged the demonstration to record their protest over the issue. Senior leader of PTI Southern Punjab Sikandar Fayyaz Bhadera expressed his grave concern over it. He said that in civilised societies, the best measures are adopted for the cleanness of the graveyards, even trees and flowers were planted there. However, he added, the situation is totally different at the centuries old and one of the largest cemetery of Chishtian. He alleged that TMA Chishtian released sewage water towards graveyard and also dumped garbage there.

Meanwhile, Administrator Arshad Sidhu said that sewage was spilled out towards the cemetery after a pulley was damaged during the installation of pipeline by public health department. He said that now pulley had been reconstructed and water from the cemetery has been drained out through machines.